Motorcycle helmet? Yes, he works with Alexa. Watering Controller Rachio 3? Yes, it works too. What about the guy who plays with the Roland keyboard? Is it really? Amazon's Amazon stand at CES, which was held last week in Las Vegas, made one fact obvious: if electricity can be passed through the facility, it will work with Alexa's voice assistant. Cherry on the cake was the Audi e-tron sedan under a giant round billboard filled with voice commands, like “Alex, what's up with traffic jams to the airport?” And “Alex, buy an air freshener for my car.”
Amazon's Amazon Conquers the World
Just around the corner at Sands Expo, in less illuminatedThe conference room, Pete Thompson, vice president of Alexa Voice Service, outlined Amazon’s plans for digital assistant in the new year, including turning Alexa into a default function for new devices and appliances.
"I think of a child that is suitable for everyonethe screen and touches it because it thinks it's a touchscreen, ”he says. "They will approach the devices and talk to them." And if they do not answer, the children will be surprised, they say, what is it? Is it broken? ”
To realize this vision, Amazon will need toconvince more people that they need Alexa, which dominates the smart speaker market around the world. To date, 32% of Americans already own smart speakers, which is an increase from almost zero in just four years since the launch of the Echo and Alexa speakers. But she is far from omnipresent. As Alexa moves deeper into the mainstream market, it may encounter resistance from customers who don’t want to talk to their machines, see no voice assistants, or mistrust technology companies, trying not to leave the microphone constantly on.
"In fact, there is no clearvalue propositions that would be noticeable, ”says Jack Narcotta, an analyst at Strategy Analytics. "So that you say: damn it, I just have to have it."
In addition, as CES showed, competitors are catching upAmazon. Some predict that Google will still regain power. Now this company is the second player in the market of smart speakers. He managed to squeeze his Assistant into the KitchenAid smart display, the Gourmia multi-cooker and the Moen smart shower. All of these new products, along with Google’s overall advertising edge and booth at CES, show how aggressively the search giant plans to break into the voice hierarchy this year.
Samsung's Bixby, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana are much smaller players in the battle of digital assistants, but they can also find targeted methods to steal Alexa clients.
Thompson offered to respond positively to the attempts of Google and other competitors.
“It's great to watch all the energy, activity and investment from a variety of companies. This raises the awareness of customers, increases the trust, interest of people to learn more about all this. ”
Alexa becomes more assertive
Miriam Daniel, vice president of devicesEcho and Alexa, reported that Amazon plans to make the voice assistant more active and ambitious this year, as well as to ensure its continued presence.
Hints of these efforts are already emerging here and there. One example is Hunches, a friendly reminder from Alexa, for example, so that you lock the door when you say "good night". Another concept is Alexa Guard, which warns you if it picks up the sound of broken glass or smoke alarms when you are away from home.
"Alexa will be able to look at your templates andsuggest something for you, ”she says, adding that the company first tests these functions with beta users to make sure that they are comfortable with these concepts and that people really want to use them. "Alexa will be surrounded by the things you allow."
As Alexa continues to grow, she will need todigest more types of data about all customers, including location information. Responding to a question about the protection of all this data, Thompson said: “Privacy and data security have always been fundamental to Alexa. Nothing will work if we do everything wrong. "
Amazon used CES to loudly announceits leadership. Now more than 28,000 smart home devices from more than 4,500 brands work with Alexa. This is an increase from 20,000 and 3,500 since September, respectively. In addition, over 150 products have Alexa's built-in functionality, including headphones, thermostats, PCs, cars, and switches.
Google said it is also working to make Assistant more understandable, and that in 2018 it will expand to 80 countries, compared with 14 a year earlier.
As for creating a phone with supportAlexa, in this regard, Thompson was not so optimistic, despite rumors that the company would eventually create a second Fire Phone. The original, released in 2014, was blown away in just a couple of months. “I don’t know if this will be an important focus for us,” he says. Instead, he says, Amazon is quite pleased with its Alexa application for phones.
Worldwide, Alexa sits in 51 million smartcolumns, while Google - in 24 million, according to IHS Markit. But thanks to the global popularity of the Android operating system, Google is expected to overtake Amazon by 2023. Of course, four years is a lot of time in the high-tech industry, so much can happen.
Fighting Amazon for market leadership will push the company to place Alexa in more products.
"Alexa was in some ways too successful," says Narcotta.
To attract more people to the world of Alexa, heAmazon recommends creating more devices with built-in Alexa so that the voice assistant goes to more rooms in the house. The company should also develop more products that will be deadly to set up in the house, eliminating the hassle of smart home devices.
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